Stanislaus Equity Partners (STEP), a Community Development Corporation (CDC), was founded in 2021 to connect neighbors, resources, and opportunities, empowering Stanislaus County residents with access to asset-building opportunities through housing, small business services, and connecting low-to-moderate income communities with access to capital and affordable lending. A true community partner with a collaborative approach, STEP was formed with the support of several stakeholders including community-based organizations like South Modesto Partnerships and City Ministry Network as well as Stanislaus County and Stanislaus Community Foundation. STEP has since formed strategic partnerships with over 51 entities, including financial institutions and CDFI’s (Community Development Financial Institutions), as a critical element of its investment and community revitalization strategies.

STEP has a bold vision of breaking intergenerational poverty and has quickly developed deeper access to capital and resources to low-income communities through affordable housing and small business development. Under its affordable housing initiative, STEP has completed or constructed over 91 housing units since 2022, including an HCD-invested transitional housing project at James Street, which provides 7 units of supportive housing to 15 to 20 formerly homeless individuals. STEP is also partnering with Self-Help Enterprises, one of the largest rural affordable housing developers in California, to build out a 45-unit mixed-use housing development. This project combines multiple layers of capital stacking, such as tax credits, state and local funding, to develop a multi-use complex, one of the first-of-its-kind in Stanislaus County.  In addition, STEP is building a series of Tiny Homes and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on excess properties locally, partnering with mission-aligned organizations, like churches.

In small business development, STEP has become a source of support for emerging and micro-businesses in the City of Modesto and Stanislaus County, especially for targeted Latino businesses, providing over 50 small businesses with funding grants; over 600 small and micro-businesses access to financing and resources; and over 2,615 technical assistance hours. Additionally, STEP leads two entrepreneurial cohorts, in both English and Spanish three times per year, through a fast-tracked business-building curriculum that provides basic education for business planning and scaling. 

STEP has an experienced, cross-sector 9-member Board and a committed staff team of 8, as well as a growing pipeline of innovative projects. STEP maintains annual financial audits by an independent audit firm for accurate, current financials and best reporting practices.  

Stanislaus Equity Partners is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds, especially those representative of Stanislaus County’s most vulnerable populations, to apply and applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

STEP’s CEO must be an emotionally intelligent bridge-builder with the conviction and calling to work in partnership with the community to champion projects and services for the underserved and underrepresented. The CEO will envision, lead, and assess plans for the vitality of organizational initiatives, programs, partnerships, fundraising, and operations – working to take STEP to the next level of growth and development. Leveraging leadership experience in affordable housing and/or community economic development, STEP’s CEO is known for being collaborative, strategic, and having the ability to form new and nurture existing partnerships with diverse community stakeholders. As a successful team and culture builder, the CEO creates a work environment centering trust and respect and is passionate about mentoring and training staff and supporting effective board governance. Others would describe STEP’s CEO as a high integrity critical thinker with both the vision and detail-orientation to imagine and implement ways for CDC and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partnerships to align.

The CEO should also bring:

  • Ability to form new and to nurture existing partnerships with diverse external stakeholders bridging the gap between community and centers of power; Experience with/connections to stakeholders in Modesto or broader Stanislaus County (or similar communities) strongly preferred
  • Experience and familiarity with affordable housing and/or community economic development/asset-building opportunities more broadly ideally inclusive of small business services, affordable lending, and/or faith-informed organizations such as experience with affordable housing developers, CDCs, CDFIs, or other related institutions
  • A minimum of 10 years of leadership and administrative experience with a track record of effectively leading and scaling team or organizational performance including managing growth, budgets of $1.5 million+, and reporting to and/or working with or on Boards of Directors
  • Experience managing and developing people; successfully leading teams and developing Boards; and building and maintaining positive organizational culture based on trust and respect
  • Clear written and verbal communication skills; open, persuasive, and passionate communication capabilities with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • A degree in a related field to community development including business, policy, real estate, public administration, etc. or experience beyond the minimum requirements; master’s degree or higher a plus

The annual salary range for STEP’s CEO will be $140,000 to $185,000, commensurate with experience. The anticipated starting salary will be at or near the midpoint of the salary range. STEP offers three weeks of vacation for executives and comprehensive benefits including medical, dental, and vision coverage; 401K contributions; life and long term disability insurance; Health FSA; professional development; and employee assistance programs, amongst other offerings.

For more information on the role and Modesto and Stanislaus County, read the full Position Announcement.​​

To apply, email a cover letter describing why you are interested in becoming CEO of STEP, resume, and list of three references (references will not be contacted without advance notice) by 5:00 pm PT on Friday, July 19, 2024, to Use the subject line “CEO Application.” Microsoft Word files or one combined PDF file is preferred. Candidate review begins immediately.

Questions or Nominations? Contact Jeannine N. Walker at

About STEP

About the Application Process

About The Opportunity

Stanislaus Equity Partners (STEP), seeks a new CEO to help realize STEP’s Vision 2028 - scaling the organization; developing people and teams; and launching new programs. Additionally, they will identify and drive new, innovative approaches to community development that create opportunities for STEP to fulfill its mission while attracting new partners and resources.

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